Ricciardo boosted by 'surprise' fourth in qualifying

© XPB 

Daniel Ricciardo admitted that getting onto the second row of the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix was better than he had been expecting.

Ricciardo was frustrated in Shanghai to be locked out of the top four by the Mercedes and Ferrari cars. The Red Bull had been almost a second back in last week's qualifying and Ricciardo hadn't expected to do better in Sakhir.

"It's a bit of a surprise," he said. "We kind of thought if we put it everything together there might be a chance of a second row. And yeah - we got it!

"It's a good little progress in one week so I'm pretty happy.

"I don't know what Kimi's was like, but obviously to jump a Ferrari is nice," he added.

The question now was whether Red Bull would have the pace to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari in race trim on Sunday.

"I'd love to. We'll see. I think they've still got a pretty big margin," he said. "If they run into some tyre deg, then maybe we can have a bit of a go.

Ricciardo suggested that his best chance to giving his rivals a headache would be at the very beginning, and by choosing the correct race strategy.

"Obviously the start, we'll see. But then once the race settles I think they'll still have a bit more pace.

"I think it's still up in the air with a one or two stop race, so maybe that will play into our hands."

The Aussie was also surprised to see that Valtteri Bottas had pipped Lewis Hamilton to pole position in an all-Mercedes front row.

"It was close! I've obviously only seen the time. I don't know how - obviously Valtteri did a good lap, I don't know how Lewis' was. Keeps it interesting.

"Pretty cool I guess for him [Valtteri] in the third race to get a pole. I don't think he would have got that in the machine he was in last year. It's a big day for him."

GALLERY: All the pictures from Saturday in Bahrain

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